Hospital admissions affect drop-out rate vwo pupils

14/01/2010 15:00

Vwo (pre-university education) pupils who were admitted in hospital once or more run a greater risk to leave secondary education without a regular diploma than vwo pupils who were never admitted in hospital.
Other types of (secondary) education appear not to be affected by hospital admissions.

Highest number of drop-outs in vbo

Pupils who were in the first form of secondary education in the period 1993−2008 were monitored during their school career and 10 percent eventually left secondary school without a regular diploma. Leaving school prematurely occurred most frequently during this period in vbo (first stage of vocational education) and was rarest among mavo (lower general secondary education) pupils. Just about 8 percent of vwo pupils left school prematurely.

Boys more often than girls and older first-form pupils more often than younger first-form pupils left school prematurely. Pupils with a lower socio-economic background more often left school without a regular certificate than pupils from higher socio-economic strata.

Proportion of premature school-leavers by type of education, 1993-2008

Proportion of premature school-leavers by type of education, 1993-2008

Hospital admissions appear to affect only vwo pupils

For vwo pupils with one or more hospital admissions, the drop-out risk was 1.5 times as high as for vwo pupils who had never been admitted in hospital during their school career. This effect bears no relation to socio-economic background, gender and age of first-form vwo pupils. Hospital admissions had no discernible effect on the drop-out rate of vbo, mavo and havo (higher general secondary education) pupils.

Drop-out risk in vwo, 1993-2008 

Drop-out risk in vwo, 1993-2008

Number of admissions and length of hospital stay remain important factors

The longer and more frequently patients attending school at vwo level stay in hospital, the greater the risk to leave school without a certificate. For pupils who stayed in hospital for more than 9 days, the risk was nearly 2.5 times as high as for those who were never admitted in hospital. For pupils who were admitted to hospital more than 3 times, the risk was more than 4 times as high.

Ferdy Otten, Tanja Traag, Mirjam van Heesch (Maastricht University) and Hans Bosma (Maastricht University)